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How to fight germs with technology

July 31, 2020
Design challenge brings out the best in automation designers

It shouldn’t take a global pandemic to bring a spotlight to innovative applications, but the coronavirus outbreak was the inspiration that spurred some very creative designs of technology applications by some talented individuals.

Element14, announced the winning designs of its Fighting Germs Design Challenge, where participants helped to fight COVID-19 by creating projects that protect vulnerable populations and help people cope with the crisis.

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The grand-prize winner, Shabaz Yousaf from the United Kingdom, created contact-less virtual buttons that are motion-sensor based, allowing the user to make selections without direct physical contact. The three first-place winners, based in the United States, Canada and India, all created germ-fighting projects designed for safety as communities reopen. First-place projects include a face mask detector system that uses cameras to determine if someone is properly wearing a face covering, a 3D-printed face shield designed to clip onto the brim of a baseball cap and a contact-free temperature checker that provides a pass, fail or borderline result to signify whether or not someone is healthy enough to be in public spaces.

“Now more than ever, we’re all working to find innovative solutions that can help us keep our friends, families and co-workers safe,” says Dianne Kibbey, global head of community and social media at element14. “Our community of makers and engineers are especially well-equipped to find innovative solutions to the challenges this pandemic presents. We hope these projects will inspire others and help to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The grand-prize winner of this design challenge received an infrared camera, $200 shopping cart to www.newark.com and a $200 donation to a charity of choice. The three first-place winners each received a germicidal lamp, a $100 shopping cart to www.newark.com and a $100 donation to a charity of choice.

Element14 is an Avnet company and part of Newark, the development distributor, which helps design engineers, maintenance and test engineers, makers, parents and teachers develop the future generation of coders and products that apply technology to change our world for the better.

Congratulations to the winners of this prestigious competition. More details on these innovative award winners, including diagrams, schematics and videos can be found here.

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About the author: Mike Bacidore
About the Author

Mike Bacidore | Editor in Chief

Mike Bacidore is chief editor of Control Design and has been an integral part of the Endeavor Business Media editorial team since 2007. Previously, he was editorial director at Hughes Communications and a portfolio manager of the human resources and labor law areas at Wolters Kluwer. Bacidore holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He is an award-winning columnist, earning multiple regional and national awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He may be reached at [email protected] 

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